Brammo buys European chain of dirt bike tracks

In keeping with its outside-the-box approach to building an eco-friendly company of the future, electric motorcycle maker Brammo Inc. has found another way to get potential customers on its bikes.

Brammo said this week it has acquired Quantyaparx, a chain of European dirt bike race tracks exclusively used by electric dirt bikes. The oldest of the 16 dirt bike tracks in Austria, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom is a little more than two years old, but already has caught on with green-friendly continental riders.

Most motocross tracks are placed as far away from urban areas as possible because of the noise and emissions, but not so with the rechristened BrammoParx, where bikers who pay an hourly rental fee will soon be tooling around on Brammo Engage and Encite dirt bikes.

"These bike tracks are in urban corridors, where people can ride more often and you don't have to make a journey out of it," Brammo founder Craig Bramscher said. "It allows us to get a lot more people on the bike and get more information back from customers. Essentially, they will be able to ride the bikes for a few hours or days instead of making a long-term commitment. It's a little bit of the Netflix model, where you pay a little bit every month, instead of buying a bike until you think need one."

Hans Eder, Quantyaparx founder and developer of worldwide licensor KOM Enterprise GmbH, will oversee BrammoParx Global.

The majority of the race parks are in large urban areas and Bramscher anticipates expanding to 100 locations over the next year or two, licensing to local operators. The parks, run by independent operators under Brammo licensing and supervision, eventually will be equipped with 10 Engage and 10 Encite bikes shipped beginning in early 2012, although there are already a few on location.

"We've been working with the concept analysis and testing it for several months," Bramscher said. "We realized this was something that could help Brammo grow as a global brand."

The European BrammoParx vary in size from 21/2; acres to 10 acres, hosting 10 to 15 riders daily, but even the smallest provide enough room to operate the bikes. The hourly rate listed on one United Kingdom site was 60 pounds sterling or a little less than $100.

"The biggest challenge is zoning," Bramscher said. "Every city and every country has their own nuances and it usually requires some sort of exception because of the track. So far, at least in Europe, everywhere they have tried to build has come together. We want to be able to maintain and store the bikes on site. Usually, they have some sort of refreshment stand. We like the idea of a sports bar, but obviously not before they ride."

Brammo has targeted the largest 100 markets in the United States for track development during the next two years. The company is still sifting through domestic operating models, including franchising.

"We are looking at all the legal ramifications," he said. "We definitely expect parks in the U.S. next year. 2012 will be a foothold year and then we'll take it to the next level."

Brammo is working on a prototype track for the Ashland area, but it is still early in the planning stages.

Greg Stiles is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach him at 541-776-4463 or email business@mailtribune.com.

Share This Story